Correlating MERM with NCEES Exam Spec - Mech MDM

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Apr 12, 2021
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I passed the FE using the Lindeburg Review manual as my main resource where chapters reflected the topics on the Exam Spec. Now I am studying for the PE, I expected the same so bought MERM 14ed. I was hugely disappointed to see this isn't the case with the MERM. It appears the MERM is more of a general reference handbook rather than an exam review manual as I was expecting.

To its credit, most chapters in the MERM have a section at the beginning stating which chapter sections relate to which part of the Exam spec. However, there are some chapters in the MERM where they do not reference the exam specs at all. Should I study these chapters or not? (e.g. Chapter 3, Algebra)
I spent the evening going through all the chapters in MERM and noting which chapter sections relate to which parts of the exam spec so I could see if the whole exam spec is covered by the MERM. There is a lot that is covered, but also there are a lot of topics on the exam spec which are not referenced by the MERM. For example, no chapter in the MERM says it covers 'Basic Mechatronics' which is listed on the exam spec. Mechatronics is not even mentioned in the MERM index. And this is just one example!
On the other hand, there are topics on the exam spec like Welding and Brazing, which are not mentioned in the MERM chapter intro's but are included in the MERM text. Why haven't these topics been called out?

Was I wrong to think the MERM is like a review manual? How am I supposed to know what topics like 'Basic Mechatronics' should include? What resources should I use to study this?

I've spent far too long spinning my wheels without a plan. How do I get a good understanding of what I should study for each topic on the exam spec??

Thanks for any guidance!
Feb 25, 2019
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I understand your concern regarding the study material. Please, use the link below to get some preparation feedback from the individuals who took the exam and passed.



FEA Wizard
May 13, 2019
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It sounds like you're looking for a review manual that is a 1-for-1 matches the exam specification. I don't think that exists. The MERM is probably the best single reference there is, so I'd encourage you to not feel disappointed in your purchase.

But yes, there is a lot of extra information in the MERM that isn't directly on the exam. This is especially true since the ME PE exam eliminated the breath and depth format. If you chose to take the Thermal Fluids exam you can ignore almost all of the solid mechanics/machine design sections, and vice versa.

You should also download the official CBT reference document. That is a good 1-for-1 match to the exam spec, but it doesn't have a lots of problems to work and examples like the MERM does.

If you want more than that, you will probably have to take a PE prep course so the instructor can guide you on exactly what to study.